Happy Holidays

The staff of the Courtauld Book Library wish you happy holidays.

Happy Holidays

Christmas Opening Hours

Thursday 13th December 2012 to Friday the 4th of January

Monday – Friday 10.30am – 5.30pm

We are closed from Tuesday 25th of December 2012 to Tuesday the 1st of January 2013 inclusive.

We resume term time opening hours on January the 7th of December.

New Book Display

Over the summer there has been a wealth of new and exciting exhibitions in and around London and internationally, and this is reflected in the recent acquisitions on show in our New Book Display. There is a variety of material on view, ranging from bold psychedelic art in the Sixties (Electrical Banana), a comprehensive collection of talks by well-known art historians, artists, curators and critics (The Secession Talks: Exhibitions in Conversation 1998 – 2010) with brilliant orange-red edged pages,to works on Warhol and Picasso.  Some of the highlights include:

Peter Lely: A Lyrical Vision

The catalogue for the Courtauld Gallery’s current exhibition, Peter Lely: A Lyrical Vision is on the UK Exhibitions stand. This exhibition is an opportunity to see some of the most rare and enigmatic paintings of 17th century England, and will be on until the 13th of January. It looks at the early work of Peter Lely, (1618-1680) the celebrated portraitist. Lely was Charles II’s Principal Painter, but this exhibition looks instead at Lely’s early work- allegorical paintings of lush idyllic landscapes, shepherds, nymphs and musicians, painted after the turmoil of the Civil War. These works illustrate Lely’s initial ambition to become a painter of narrative scenes, yet they proved unpopular with his patrons, and he produced only thirty. The book jacket shows Lely’s The Concert, arguably one of Lely’s most personal and intriguing works, as the musician seated in the centre of the composition could well be Lely himself. Lely was influenced by artists such as Titian, and by the time of his death had a rich collection of Italian 16th and 17th drawings. A catalogue pertaining to this collection, dating from 1758, is available in our CABS (Closed Access Book Store) section.

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde

The current exhibition at Tate Britain, Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde, brings to the fore some of the best-known and most iconic work of the Pre-Raphaelites, a self-styled ‘brotherhood’ of painters- led by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt-whose work revolutionized fine art with their heady use of symbolism, colour, and controversial subject matter such as poverty and prostitution. The book delves into the history and impact of the Pre-Raphaelites, from their work’s poor initial reception-  after viewing Millais’s Christ in the House of His Parents, (1849-50)Charles Dickens dismissed the figure of Mary as ‘horrible in her ugliness’-to their present-day status as arguably  highly influential artists.

Illustrated throughout with some of their most well-known works- such as John Everett Milliais’ Ophelia- the exhibition cataloguefocuses on the Pre-Raphaelites’ revolutionary techniques and ideas, their role in the Arts and Crafts movement, and their impact on society and art. It also includes essays by Diane Waggoner (author of The Pre-Raphaelite Lens, 2010, Z5020 WAS NAT) and Elizabeth Prettejohn (author of Art of the Pre-Raphaelites, 2000, D467 PRE.) We have a wide range of other material on both the Pre-Raphaelites and Peter Lely in our collections.

There are also new exhibition catalogues for exhibitions based in Liverpool, work on Hong Kong artists, Korean art and other interesting current exhibitions, so please take a look the next time you’re in the Book Library.

Useful links:

Website for Peter Lely: A Lyrical Vision:

http://www.courtauld.ac.uk/gallery/exhibitions/2012/peter-lely/index.shtml

Courtauld Gallery Blog (which includes additional information on The Concert and on curating the exhbition)

http://galleryblog.courtauld.ac.uk/

Website for Tate Britain’s Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde:

http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/pre-raphaelites-victorian-avant-garde

Blog for Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde (which includes an interesting ‘drawing/painting of the week’ feature):

http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/blogs/search?f[0]=im_vid_50%3A2131

Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery Preraphaelites Online Resource:

http://www.preraphaelites.org

Preraphaelites.org

The world’s largest Preraphaelite online collection: the extensive digital collection of Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery (over 3000 images) has been digitised, allowing users detailed access to their images and full record information.

-Eleanor Keane, Graduate Trainee Assistant.

Welcome to the new Courtauld Book Library Blog

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Welcome to the new home of The Courtauld Book Library Blog. We have been busy over the summer moving books in the main collection and in CABS, binding journals and having a general spring (summer) clean. We are getting ready to welcome the new Graduate Trainees when we reopen and you will see them around the library from the 3rd September. All of our previous blog posts are still available to you within the WordPress blog and you will see new posts over the coming months. Find contact details for each department and member of staff in the Contact us page and put a face to the name in our Meet the Staff page. We hope you are looking forward to the new academic year and look forward to seeing you at the beginning of term.

Special Collections Projects Underway

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2012 is proving to be a big year for the Special Collections at the Courtauld Book Library. We now have two dedicated Special Collections Librarians – Erica Foden-Lenahan (Tues & Sat) and Hannah Thomas (Weds-Fri) – who will be working hard on a couple of big projects as well as being your day to day contact for all things Special Collections.

Erica, who has been at the Book Library for three years now, is working on The Shearman Collection. In 2004, the Book Library received the collection of the late Professor John Shearman, an eminent academic and former Deputy Director of The Courtauld. A leading scholar of Italian Renaissance and a Raphael expert, his library contains about 4000 items, including many off-prints, covering Renaissance and Baroque art.

Hannah, who started here in October 2011 and has experience working for the British Library and the National Trust, will be concentrating on The Seilern Collection. Received in 1978, the collection consists of Count Antoine Seilern’s extensive Rubens holdings; catalogues of private collections and sales; works on Tiepolo, Lorrain and Poussin; and extensive material on Dutch art of the Renaissance. There is a lot of material – well over 4000 volumes – some of which was added to the library’s computer system as part of a previous cataloguing project.

Thanks to generous funding from the Foyle Foundation, Erica and Hannah will be making these fascinating collections accessible to the Courtauld community and researchers all over the world. The collections will be catalogued and united with the already rich and unique Special Collections of the Courtauld Book Library, including the libraries of Antony Blunt and Johannes Wilde. Ultimately this will create an unrivalled Renaissance and Baroque study collection available for students, scholars and visitors for generations to come. It also tells the story of the development of art history as an academic discipline in the UK and the network of art historians, as well as highlighting the contributions made by European émigrés to the subject. These libraries also often yield more personal insights like the note from one of John Shearman’s daughters found as a bookmark.

Erica and Hannah hope to keep us all updated on their progress via the Book Library blog but in the meantime if you have any questions about any aspects of our Special Collections then please contact them at specialcollections@courtauld.ac.uk.

Provenance help with a bookplate

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Descrizzione delle imagini dipinte da Rafaelle d’Urbino nelle camere del Palazzo Apostolico Vaticano, a work by Giovanni Pietro Bellori.

We are fortunate to have two copies of this work and the copy that was part of the John Shearman bequest bears the bookplate to the left and we would like to make reference to it in the catalogue record.

This volume was once owned by the bibliophile Gustavo Camillo Galletti and bears its stamp on the title page.

Can  anyone recognize the bookplate and identify whether it is another provenance marking for the Biblioteca Galletti, or if it is one used by another library or collector? Any help would be appreciated.

Erica Foden-Lenahan
Special Collections

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